Just Friend and only Friend

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Wondering if your partner is cheating? His or her voice may be a dead giveaway. New research by Albright college psychology professor Susan Hughes has found that men and women alter their voices when speaking to lovers versus friends and those variations can potentially be used to detect infidelity.

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“It’s not just that we change the sound of our voice, but that others can easily perceive those changes,” said Hughes, an expert in evolutionary psychology and voice perception.

The findings are included in a new article, “People Will Know We Are in Love: evidence of Differences Between vocal samples Directed toward Lovers and Friends,” published this month in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

Researchers recruited 24 callers who were newly in love and still in the so-called honeymoon period. Callers were asked to phone there romantic partners, as well as a close same-sex friend, and in both cases engage in a conversation asking specifically “how are you?” and “what are you doing?”

Researchers then played the recordings to 80 independent raters who judged the samples for sexiness, pleasantness and degree of romantic interest. Raters were able to correctly identify whether the caller was speaking to a friend or lover. Researchers also found that women use a lower pitch, while men employ a higher one when speaking to their romantic partner.